What’s going on in the Delaware legislature? Those guys love to make laws, let’s check up on what they’re up to. The 3/12/16 Edition-Part II.

Five cents a plastic bag then the retailer has to “encourage” the use of re-usable bags. Capitalism turned social experiment. This is Part II of Delaware legislation activity this past week.



SB207-More Dealiing With Bullying

I have read as much as I can about this act and on the surface it seems like a good thing.

I got to wonder what genius made it mandatory for ALL school fights to be reported to the police.

This Act would improve the state’s response to incidents of school bullying by better informing parents of the availability of intervention by the Department of Justice’s School Ombudsperson, and clarify that the Ombudsperson has authority to intervene in both incidents of criminal activity and incidents that meet the statutory definition of bullying but do not constitute criminal activity. This Act would also give schools and victims’ families discretion whether to report misdemeanor assault incidents between juveniles to law enforcement agencies, rather than mandating the involvement of the criminal justice system in all such incidents. Finally, the Act would ensure that parents of students involved in bullying incidents are informed that such incidents are reported to the Department of Education, and are informed when such reports occur.

Mine own Senator Pettyjohn is a sponsor of this bill

“I’m happy to be a proud sponsor of such an important piece of legislation,” Pettyjohn said on his Facebook page.

I have to agree that common sense should be the norm here but it seems like more and more every day the legislature, not just Delaware, ALL of them, are dealing with the sticky subject of bullying.

Still and so, this seems to be a step in the right direction because mandatory anything is just plain stupid.

Legislators hone in on higher gasoline tax

From Delawareonline:

The proposal from state Rep. Sean Matthews, D-Talleyville, and Rep. Michael Mulrooney, D-Pennwood, dellegis3.12.16seanmatthewssfis different from the failed attempt Gov. Jack Markell made in 2014 because it would expire after a year, allowing lawmakers to take stock of where oil prices stand and decide whether or not to renew it.
Matthews estimates the increase would raise more than $50 million in additional revenue a year.

Of course with the price of gasoline dropping so much it was only a matter of time before some shrewd legislator figured that this was the time to sneak in ten cents the public might not notice.

Hey guys….WE NOTICE! Knock it off.

The Tax Foundation this week released a summary of gasoline taxes in all 50 states.

According to the nonpartisan, non-profit, Washington D.C.-based think tank, Delaware has the 34th highest gasoline tax in the nation at 23 cents per gallon. That is lower than Pennsylvania’s top levy of 50.4 cents per gallon (#1) and Maryland’s 32.6 cents per gallon (#13), but higher than New Jersey’s at 14.5 cents (#49).

The issue is of more than just casual interest since two House Democrats recently proposed hiking Delaware’s gas tax by 10-cents-per gallon. If enacted, the 43 percent increase would propel Delaware up the list to 12th highest gasoline tax in U.S.

The gasoline tax hike proposal has yet to be introduced in the General Assembly.

The Absurd plastic bag tax

From Delaware Online

House Bill 202 is co-sponsored by Rep. Debbie Hudson, R-Fairthorne; Rep. Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington; Rep. Michael Mulrooney, D-Pennwood; Sen. Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington North; and Sen. Cathy Cloutier, R-eatherbrooke.

This bill expands upon the existing at-store recycling program regarding the use of single-use plastic bags. The existing requirements will continue, however stores subject to this program will now be required to charge 5 cents for every single use carryout bag that is provided to customers. There are also reporting requirements to help track the fees that are charged and the distribution of the single use bags. This reporting will detail the manner in which these funds are expended, as the stores will be authorized to use the fees that are collected in order to promote the use and distribution of reusable bags. Penalties will be imposed for violating the requirements of this program. The purpose of the bill, as detailed in the preamble, is to clean up our communities and watersheds, reduce storm water and trash management costs to taxpayers, and promote the health and safety of watersheds and wildlife. This bill becomes effective on December 2, 2016 at which time the existing at-store plastic bag recycling program will expire (and be re-incorporated into the new program).

OMG this is the WORST piece of legislation, as written, ever drafted.

First, the seller charges five cents a bag. They will have to keep track of the bags they charge for and THAN…..

….they will be obligated to encourage use of re-usable bags….how they should do that is not clear….and IF..

…they don’t do it they will be fined.

Oh please. Turning a capitalistic enterprise into a social gatekeeper is NOT the way to go here.

And if people are not recycling their plastic bags…let me give them some uses.

You got a cat? Right there you should be using up all your plastic bags for used cat litter.

You go to BJ’s? Take a pile of these plastic bags because BJ’s only gives you awkward boxes to carry your purchases.

Those things wad up real nice and tight so stuffing five or six of them in the bottom of a purse is small matter. There’s a million reasons why we often need a plastic storage bag when we’re out and about.

I’m thinking this is meant to be a revenue raiser because rather than actually trying to CUT expenses, a form of budget control, too many lawmakers use their noggin to figure out ways to tax us to freaking death.

Some Miscellany

House Bill 262 seeks to make a number of changes to the Delaware Land Preservation Protection Act. One of the changes would specify the criteria that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control would use to determine State Resource Areas (SRAs). While the bipartisan bill does not appear contentious, some concerns have been previously raised regarding the creation of SRA maps and the future implications they may pose for private landowners.

The above has something to do with paying people not to sell their farms but damn if I understand it.


House Bill 263 would clarify that a person licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon may continue to do so while hunting or trapping in Delaware, without being charged with an unintentional violation of the state’s game laws. “Hunters do not believe it to be unreasonable that they should be able to carry a concealed weapon for personal protection during a time they are allowed to carry a hunting weapon,” said State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman, R-Clayton, a sponsor of the bipartisan bill. “So long as the concealed firearm is not used illegally for the taking of game, I am unaware of any legitimate objections to this common sense legislation.”

Heh. Seriously, would some law enforcement type have nothing better to do than arrest a hunter with a legal concealed carry weapon?

I understand that there are what appear to be conflicting laws about hunting (maybe a hunter can carry only one gun, making it fairer for the animal. Not that the animal has much of a chance against even ONE gun….but I digress).


House Bill 265 would make it a crime for any convicted sex offender to reside or loiter within 500 feet of a “licensed child care center.” The law already contains the same protective buffer zone

This is a law that seems well-intentioned on the surface. I guess since they can’t LIVE near a place where children are in any quantity then they shouldn’t be allowed to loiter there either.

State Rep. Kevin Hensley, R-Townsend-Odessa-Port Penn, said he sponsored the bill after receiving a phone call. “A constituent called me expressing concern that there was a registered sex offender living a couple of doors down from a licensed daycare center in my district,” he said. “I had assumed that daycares fell under the definition of ‘schools’ in the Delaware Code, prohibiting such an arrangement. However, I found this was not the case. H.B. 265 merely includes licensed daycare centers under the school definition, prohibiting sex offenders from being within a 500-foot radius.”


House Bill 270 seeks to change the Telemarketing Fraud Act to enable Department

of Justice to protect residents who receive telemarketing calls. The measure would require telemarketers to obtain a state registration before engaging in any business with Delaware customers. Under the bill, state officials could deny registrations, revoke existing registrations, or deny registration renewals for telemarketing sellers, telemarketing businesses, or individual telemarketers who engage in any improper activities specified in the bill. House Republicans co-sponsoring the bipartisan legislation include State Reps. Ruth Briggs King, Deborah Hudson, Dave Wilson & Joe Miro.

I don’t know why they need a law to do this. I mean if I’m calling people and pilfering them of money by claiming to be the IRS or some such, isn’t this a crime?

I guess this bill will keep these shysters out of business but how hard is it to pick up a phone and call people and convince them to give you money? Don’t need a business license to do that.

Anyway, TWO parts this week as the legislature is back in business.

We’ll be watching.

I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.
NEXT : Got Sussex county council meeting coming up because I’m watching them too.

3 thoughts on “What’s going on in the Delaware legislature? Those guys love to make laws, let’s check up on what they’re up to. The 3/12/16 Edition-Part II.

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